Can Uber's self-driving project survive a lawsuit? Legal experts say yes

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(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

The daughter of Elaine Herzberg, the pedestrian killed in a collision with an Uber SUV, has hired a lawyer. 

They haven't filed a notice of claim yet, but some experts think that could be coming.

[WATCH: Video of moments before fatal wreck]

So what would getting sued after a deadly crash mean for a company like Uber? Could it spell the end of self-driving cars?

Attorney Marc Lamber, legal analyst with Fennemore Craig, P.C. says a lawsuit would likely not be the death of the project, but it certainly would be a marked beginning of a change.

[READ MORE: Tempe PD releases video of moments before self-driving Uber hit, killed pedestrian]

"Someone is going to want to make sure that they understand their legal rights and that they're protected and evidence is preserved," said Lamber. 

If they take that route, the process could take months, if not years. There might even be payouts awarded to Herzberg's family.

Lamber says the company might also be asked to improve its equipment. 

[RELATED: Investigators recreate fatal crash involving self-driving Uber car]

"We can prevent these accidents from happening, or lessening them from happening, by bringing claims, by making sure the law protects people," said Lamber. 

He says this would make the technology better and safer for everyone. 

"I don't think [self-driving cars are] going anywhere, this is going to grow, it's going to continue, we all have our different opinions. But hopefully we can make it safer," said Lamber. 

Lamber says things like seat belts, airbags and anti-lock brakes were all made commonplace because of lawsuits. He predicts this case could bring about another important evolution in the car industry. 


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Lauren ReimerLauren Reimer joined the 3TV/CBS 5 family in June 2016. She is originally from Racine, WI but is no stranger to our heat.

Click to learn more about Lauren.

Lauren Reimer

She previously worked for KVOA in Tucson, covering topics that matter to Arizonans including the monsoon, wildfires and border issues. During the child migrant crisis of 2014, Reimer was one of only a handful of journalists given access to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection detention facility in Nogales, where hundreds of unaccompanied children were being held after crossing into the U.S. from Central America. Before that, Reimer worked at WREX in Rockford, IL. Lauren is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee and still visits home often. When not chasing news stories, Reimer loves to explore, enjoying everything from trying new adventurous foods to visiting state and national parks or local places of historical significance.

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